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AR. RESISTERS LEAGUE 2 Stone Street, New York, N. Y. 

10c each -:- 20for$1.0( 

George W. Hartmann is Professor of Educational Psychology 
a^t Teachers College, Columbia University. He was a foreign 
traveling post-doctoral fellow of the Social Science Research 
Council in 1930-1931 and the third President of the Society for 
tJie Psychological Study of Social Issues (1939). Among his 
publications are Gestalt Psychology (1935) and Edtication,al 
Psychology (1941); he has also served as Editor of The Social 
Frontier and the Yearbook on Industrial Conflict. An article 
entitled "Pacifism and Its Opponents in the Light of Value 
Theory" which originally appeared in the Journal of Abnormal 
<tfid Social Psychology was reprinted by the "War Resisters League. 
Dr. Hartmann is a member of the Board of Directors of The 
Conscientious Objector and the Executive Committee of the 
War Resisters League. 

First Printing— August, 1942 
Second Printing—November 1942 

The War Resisters League issues this pamphlet as a valuable contribution 
to current discussion. The views herein expressed, however, are those of the 
author and do not necessarily represent the official position of the League. 

4M-11-42 w^^! 263 


We are in the midst of one of the most tragic periods in the 
history of mankind. The dwindling number of us who are still 
privileged to live in relative safety and comfort remain con- 
stantly aware that needless death and disaster are everywhere 
ruining the happiness of pur race. Each day men, women, and 
children perish in agony at the hands of their fellow human 
beings. The inspired work of generations of labor vanishes in 
a few fierce moments of destructive fury. Never has this earth 
been the scene of such universal and deliberate terror, slaughter, 
and suffering. 

Normal persons grow sick and depressed whenever their 
sensitivities compel them to respond to these somber realities. 
The vast energies of rival continents and hemispheres are in- 
creasingly devoted to the techniques of killing. In all lands art- 
juts and scientists and priests find the fulfillment of their social 
mission in furthering this process of Mass Murder. Perhaps the 
saddest mood of all appears when some of our apparently kindly 
neighbors gloat with fiendish delight at the miseries of those 
they call the "enemy" and express a resolve to magnify these 
wounds until the will to resist us is utterly broken. 

Yet we cannot allow the unmeasured magnitude of this man- 
made catastrophe to overwhelm us. It is still our grand task to 
master the physical and social environment, to improve our- 
; ;< i lves, and to do all in our power to persuade our fellow-creatures 
to labor to these ends, rather than devoting their most arduous 
endeavor^to their mutual annihilation. How shall we take hold 
iii" ;i proWem so immense? 

How Clear Are the Objectives of the United Nations? 

At the moment many American communities are humming 
with discussions about "war aims." Often these sessions consider 
the same problems under the alternative label of "peace aims" 
<>n the assumption that these goals are to be realized in an era 
Of comparative calm to which the present conflict is a sorrowful 

but necessary preliminary. While there is much that is contra- 
dictory in these numerous proposals, one can be glad that there 
is this interest in shaping on paper the structure of the post-war 
world, even though it is probably being encouraged in high 
quarters as a means of deflecting critical attention from thei 
actual conduct of hostilities and thereby ensuring acceptance off 
the brutal accompaniments of total war. 

Most of these unofficial schemes have their origin, via pres. 
tige suggestion, in the planks in the Churchill-Roosevelt Atlantic. 
Charter, the latest and only official statement as to what this^ 
war is all about from the Anglo-American viewpoint.* Unfor- 
tunately this document is one of the least inspiring calls to 
battle that any great conflict has ever brought forth. It is 
doubtful if many belligerent patriots are being energized by the 
pale language and still paler content of this lifeless text. Under 
the circumstances, no surprise is occasioned when competent 
observers in both Britain and America remark that the average 
man has only a fair idea of what he is fighting against and no 
more than the haziest notion of what he is fighting for. While 
I fully understand that in the perverted rationale of the institu- 
tion of war, every negative can be converted into a positive and 
vice versa, I am sure that consistency and clarity in this area 
will be furthered if I ask a few definite, specific, and, I fear, 
embarrassing questions of those who maintain that great per- 
manent social good will result from the horrors of this war: 

1. Are we, as a people, committed to returning Malaysia, 
Burma, Hong-Kong, and other British colonies to English or 
"white man" rule? 

_ 2. Are we pledged to restore the Western boundaries of Sov- 
iet Russia as of June 1941, which notoriously included territory 
that had just been forcibly seized from Finland, Esthonia, Latvia, 
Lithuania, Poland, and Rumania? 

3. Are the United Nations obligated to preserve the policy of 
a White Australia for an island-continent as large as the United 

*Tiie subsequent Anglo-Eussian 20-year military alliance and the associated 

!Sf U th Ve Q ag r T e T m ? nt ' Pact ' 0r "^standing between the United Sates 
and the Soviet Union seem to be animated by a World »balance-of -power" 
theory as a successor to the obsolete European or Continental politicalTaui- 

States? If so, how well does this sit with our allies, the colored 
people of China and India? 

4. Is Java to be restored to Holland without a plebiscite 
among the native inhabitants? 

5. Are the people of Germany, Italy, and Japan, and their 
satellite states to be broken into smaller units, forcibly de- 
industrialized (as the influential Vansittart-Knox mentality in 
Britain and America suggests), and compelled to pay indefi- 
nitely for the maintenance of foreign garrisons — or do we plan 
to let their advances in modern technology aid in producing the 
highest possible standard of living for all the nations of the 

6. In general, are we committed to a re-establishment of the 
European status quo ante of September 1938 (the pre-Munich 
period) — a defective social system that itself contributed so 
much to the catastrophe that has engulfed us? 

7. Do we intend to force parliamentary institutions upon all 
nations which have abandoned them or which never had them — 
or will we insist upon their adoption by the Axis powers only, 
leaving the Russian, Iberian, Asiatic, and Latin-American des- 
potisms to flourish unhindered? 

8. Do our national leaders really believe that this is the "final 
war to end all future wars" — or are they not seriously consider- 
ing the possibility of a future clash between an expanded Soviet 
and the Anglo-American alliance; or even worse, a color war 
between Orient and Occident? 

War Supporters: A Medley of Incompatible Groups 

We would be less than worldly-wise if we did not, on the 
basis of ample historical precedent, suspect that a number of 
ugly things are being contemplated by those who are in the 
driver's seateof the victor's vehicle, masked though these inten- 
tions be by diplomatic phrases redolent of superficial innocence. 
After all, it is quite clear that different groups are supporting 
the war for very diverse reasons. Mr. Willkie, and oddly enough, 
Thurman Arnold, think this is a golden opportunity to continue 
••:i[>italism as part of our national folklore; Life, Time, and 
fortune believe this is America's God-given chance to rule the 
World for our advantage from Washington and New York; others 

want to see the countries of their family origin (with which 
they are emotionally identified) restored to their former dignity 
as independent sovereign states; the Communists and their fel 
low-travelers are for the war effort so long as it implies "aid to 
Russia" ; organized labor is effectively "bribed" by higher wages 
and steady work; and some (not confined to jealous West Coast 
agriculturists) see this war as a way of keeping certain race 
especially the yellow, in their place— which to them means a 
the bottom of the social heap. 

Nobler reasons also exist, but these are much weaker politi 
cally. Many liberals see this conflict as a true War for Demo- 
cratic Survival; a number of social democrats discern in the 
defeat of the Axis an indispensable pre-condition for the prospec- 
tive triumph of socialism in the not-too-distant future; and some 
internationalists believe that the Anglo-Saxon conception of 
"liberty under law" must be universalized for the sake of human 

A Few Things Men Forget When They Go to Battle 

Before one appraises any specific war or peace goal, it is 
always well to state the basic general principle from which one| 
derives his more particularized judgments. It happens that I ai. 
convinced there is no individual or group purpose, no mattei 

how precious, which is worth the lives of a million men and if 

there were, I am certain it could be attained by some othei 
method without demanding such an appalling sacrifice. Modern 1 
man is victimized by a dreary superstition which declares noth- 
ing constructive can be accomplished in the international scene 
without a substantial blood offering. In this respect he is like 
our ancestors who slew their best beloved upon the altar of Baal 
or cast them into the fiery furnace of Moloch in order that rai] 
should fall, the state be preserved, and the gods continue t< 
smile upon the activities of men. I know of no better illustratioi 
of Voltaire's dictum that men will commit cruelties so long as 
they believe absurdities. 

Even in the midst of combat, it is appropriate that we ask 
our fellow-citizens to consider whether the goals for which they 

• are ostensibly dying could not equally if not better be reached 
without armed conflict. As it is, millions have already died with- 
out a decision being won by either side. If it were possible tof| 

compute accurately the direct and indirect money costs of the 
war to this hour, they would probably be sufficient to rebuild the 
entire material edifice of either the North American or the 
Kuropean continents. 

Plainly motives of an extraordinarily powerful sort must 
have been released to achieve such a ghastly wastage of human 
and natural resources. Equally clearly these motives to wreck, 
starve, and slay continue to operate with apparently undimin- 
ished force. Yet it should surprise no one with a minimum of 
psychological insight to find that the drives which support this 
amazing madness are normally and inevitably changed by the 
concomitants and consequences of their own activity. Not only 
is it possible, but it is altogether certain, that whatever inten- 
tions a government may have at the beginning of a war, these 
purposes do not remain unaltered until the middle or end of one. 
Developmental or degenerative powers come into play which 
modify them either for the better or for the worse. 

Those of us who have disavowed the war system may rightly 
remind the supporters of this pitiless institution that it is always 
possible to pay too high a price for a certain goal. Thus, Con- 
gress has pledged the lives and property of all Americans for 
the victorious prosecution of this war. In other words, no matter 
how much it may cost in treasure and blood, this country says 
it intends to impose its will upon its foes. I suspect, however, 
that a little hyperbole and self-deception are involved in this 
assertion. Certain combat units have literally fought to the last 
man, but no large nation has ever done so. Hence, when nations 
declare they pledge everything they have to avoid defeat, opera- 
tionally they really mean no more than "a certain undetermined 
but presumably reasonable or bearable loss." 

Transforming the Community's Purposes 

Into such a context, the skeptical but not irreverent pacifist 
may realistically present his alternative proposals designed to 
hold social losses to a minimum by re-structuring the national 
purpose so that real values are maintained and advanced, and 
spurious ones discarded. Most '"blueprints" for the Post-War 
World are impatiently waved aside by leading statesmen as irre- 
levant, untimely, disturbing, and futile. They and their follow- 
ers claim one must first beat the adversary before one decides 


what to do with him. Small wonder that the search for a glowing 
title to glamorize this war has had such ill success ! A few snap- 
py slogans to make meaningless sacrifices palatable are all right 
— but don't be too precise about the "reconstruction" to come 
after the enemy surrenders I 

Yet such single-minded concentration upon a military tri- 
umph through superior force is psychologically defective. It is 
certainly poor diplomatic and military strategy, although far be 
it for a pacifist to offer advice as to how to run a good and 
efficient war. Nonetheless, it is a fact that a nation's determina- 
tion to fight is certainly stronger if the citizens actually know 
and are agreed about the point of all the suffering involved. 
Likewise the "enemy" populations, assuming they can overcome 
the skepticism generated by earlier cases of gross deceit, may be 
affected by the knowledge that their opponents are honestly 
struggling for reasonable and decent objectives, and that their 
own presumably less enlightened goals (implicit or explicit) 
suffer by comparison. 

However, on this occasion it is not my purpose to explore 
the various ways of raising domestic civilian and combat-force 
morale while simultaneously seeking to lower the morale of the 
alleged adversary. The business of those who hope and labor 
for a World Commonwealth is to do what they can to boost the 
morale, i.e., the sense of well-being, of all men everywhere, not 
to discriminate against some and to display favoritism toward 
others. I therefore confess to a certain disinterest in ephemeral 
war aims or even in peace aims as such ; what I am vitally con- 
cerned about could much better be designated as permanent 
social aims. 

An Eight-Fold Magna Carta for All Humanity 

The one real issue which all Mankind faces today, and which i 
it would be confronting even if peace conditions of the pre-1939 
or pre-Pearl Harbor varieties obtained, is simply this : 

How shall the entire World be organized and managed so that 
the two billion members of the human species who live on its 
surface may enjoy a state of affairs properly characterized as 
one of Peace, Plenty, and Freedom? 

I put the question in this form because I am convinced that 
any less universal or comprehensive approach is a hurtful eva- 
sion of the paramount problem of the twentieth century. For 
me and other advocates of the Welfare or Service State, the 
physical resources and the cultural achievements of the past 
and present are, or should be, the common property of all the 
people of the Earth, to be used to bring to each and every person 
wherever he may be that better life for which he strives. I 
hasten to add that to think globally, as any acceptance of this 
proposition requires, does not mean to think imperialistically ; 
and that the "planetary consciousness" here enjoined has in it 
nothing of the bellicosity of the interventionist sentiment. The 
point of view I am maintaining is that we do not need to club, 
blockade, and torture others into submission before winning 
their consent (by the method of mutual agreement) to a uni- 
versally valid program for satisfying human wants. The curious 
illogic of war which holds that one must first injure one's adver- 
saries ere one begins to behave decently toward them must be 
repudiated before we can start to realize the Great Social Aim 
of our generation. 

In my judgment, we are witnessing at present something like 
a world-wide collectivist revolution, obscured as this under- 
lying trend may be by the din and smoke of armed combat. By 
this I mean that the common man everywhere is dimly aware 
that Modern Science has brought us to the threshold of an Age 
of Abundance and that the gross lacks and frustrations he is 
still compelled to endure are largely unnecessary. This contem- 
porary generic man is less interested in the hollow details of an 
already obsolete Atlantic Charter than he is in the basic program 
of the World Charter here proposed that at least attempts to 
ensure him what his organism requires, no matter what country 
or clime he calls home. This new Charter has not been secretly 
prepared on a battleship surrounded by all the paraphernalia of 
war. It is simply a series of deductions from the root conviction 
that organized societies make sense only as they provide the 
following eight services to every personality, as a minimum of 
decent existence: 

1. The maintenance and security of every individual's life. 
All efforts at social reform assume that life is worth living. Like- 
wise every attempt to secure experiences of value presupposes 
some creature to act as valuer. Yet our current "civilization" 

is not distinguished by the high regard it has for human life as 
such. By means of such anachronisms as capital punishment and 
war, we put to death many persons who usually wish to continue 
to live; and by our curious attitudes toward suicide and euthan- 
asia we prevent death from coming to the few who eagerly seek 
it. A culture at once so hypocritical and paradoxical needs to 
be made healthful by the recognition (and action thereupon) 
that the life of a Russian, a Chinese, and a German is as valu- 
able—but no more so— as the life of an Englishman, an Italian, 
and an American. For both the individual and the community 
to keep a resolution never to take human life without the consent 
of the person affected, no matter what the circumstances, is per- 
haps the surest means of restoring sanity and security to a 
frightened and deranged population. In a world of relatives, 
this is one absolute I have no hesitancy, in offering. 

2. Food supplies adequate to provide optimal nutrition for all. 
The best evidence we have indicates that fully one-half of the 
human race is chronically undernourished or malnourished. Ob- 
vously war enlarges the ratio of persons so affected. "Good" 
wars and "justifiable" wars are peculiarly designed to increase 
the amount of hunger in the world. Any social system which 
fails to feed its people equitably is clearly defective. It must be 
supplanted by a society which can do at least that much for its 

3. Complete health and medical services for all men every- 
where. At present, large stretches of the globe are deprived of 
the most elementary benefits of sanitation. The gross differences 
in average longevity between different countries and different 
social groups reflect all too clearly the fact that man has usually 
denied he was his brother's keeper. Here is another elementary 
social purpose which war frustrates— for has it not regularly 
increased the death rate, lowered the birth rate, and brought 
pestilence and famine in its wake? 

4. Spacious and hygienic housing for all families. The typi- 
cal human being (especially if one includes the Asiatics who 
comprise over half of mankind) lives not in a sunny airy room 
he can call his own but in a crowded smelly hovel. Yet decent 
shelter remains a primitive requirement for the Good Life even 
in the tropics (perhaps I should say, especially there) . Does not 
war lead to a diminution of home building and accentuate the 

insufficiencies of even peace-time dwelling conditions? Are not 
countless families literally left without a roof over their heads 
by the devastation of "scorched earth" retreats, the bombing of 
cities, and the battles in village streets ? To what great and noble 
end is all this done? 

5. Work at some socially useful task suitable to one's inter- 
ests and abilities. The terrible depression of the 'thirties was 
marked in all industrial countries by an unprecedented volume 
of unemployment. It is significant that no major nation suc- 
ceeded in reducing the number of unemployed except by recourse 
to armament economics with its inevitable sequel of war. Now 
there is a labor shortage in every country. 'Tis curious how 
many men suddenly become useful to an economy when they can 
be employed to kill (or contribute to the killing of) their fellow 
workers in other lands. That unions have generally welcomed 
and supported this development is labor's supreme disgrace. 
To earn one's income making bombs, poison gas, or similar wea- 
pons is like drawing the wages of the public executioner. Muni- 
tions work is not socially productive activity, and our vast con- 
script armies are certainly not suitable to the interests and abili- 
ties of most of the draftees, for if they were, there would be no 
trouble recruiting them from volunteers. Yet over half of the 
industrial output of the world's factories now goes to make 
instruments of destruction while civilian and consumer goods — 
never too plentiful at best — decline sharply in both quality and 

6. The abolition of illiteracy through a World Educational 
Authority. It is not commonly known that only a minority of 
the earth's population can read and write. After two centuries 
of British rule, India remains about 94% illiterate — a ghastly 
commentary on the alleged benefits of imperialism to a colonial 
people. The need for education and still more and better educa- 
tion is felt on every hand. Yet war acts as a blight upon the 
schools. We are all familiar with the harm done to the splendid 
German university system by the Nazi regime — largely in the 
name of more effective preparation for war. What we too often 
forget is that war in every land brings with it a decline in the 
quality of the intellectual life. Fear, hate, and prejudice do not 
make for objectivity or excellence in scholarship and research. 
Instead, propaganda and passion combine to produce new forms 
of ignorance and stupidity. The enlightened quest for knowledge 

is overshadowed by the lust for blood or the craving for power, 
and university faculties at times resemble mobs of neurotic sad- 
ists. Few indeed are the spectacles which are as disheartening 
as this. 

7. Freedom of movement for individuals and population 
groups. I have postponed until this point any further mention 
of the term "freedom" as a legitimate end of social effort be- 
cause I fear this magnificent word has been intolerably abused 
by the rhetoricians and journalists of our time. Abstract free- 
dom, like most abstractions, is an empty concept until concretized 
in a series of definite conditions such as I am outlining in this 
eight-point World Charter. In this instance, I am suggesting 
that the world establish not free trade in goods, desirable as 
that is, but something even more elementary, viz., the removal 
of all artificial barriers to the mobility of persons. Our own 
country's immigration policy since the end of the first World 
War is probably the ugliest denial of the principle here advanced. 
The assumption that we can monopolize access to the resources 
of this great continent solely on the ground that we got here 
first is to me an indecent bit of national arrogance. I have no 
doubt that this thoroughly selfish act of America's contributed 
to heightening the tensions of Europe which led to the eventual 
explosion. Other nations, including those with whom we are 
now at war, offended in similar ways. Ethically, however, two 
wrongs do not make a single right. The hostile acts of discrim- 
ination implied in exclusion policies must be abandoned, since 
their maintenance is a major factor in making for war. If there 
be anything which made the Japanese population psychologically 
ready to accept war with the United States, it has been our 
blunt, cruel, and untrue assertion for decades that Scotsmen 
and other "Nordics" were more desirable citizens of this fair 
land than those who came from Asia. No man is truly free un- 
less he can leave an unpromising site and go to the ends of the 
earth if he so desires in search of that pattern of life he deems 
good for himself and his kin. 

8. Freedom of expression and communication. I use this 
phrase to refer to the classic civil liberties, particularly the key 
items of freedom of thought and utterance. In a truly solemn 
sense, this is the one right preservative of all other rights. No 
streamlined tyranny or suave dictatorship can make men forget 


that the best in them requires that this condition of orderly 
progress be met. Men must not only be permitted to be articu- 
late if they are strongly motivated to express themselves — they 
must be helped and encouraged to be so, and not stigmatized as 
"reds" and enemies of the American way of life, or terrorized as 
fifth, sixth, or twenty-third columnists because they speak or 
write as their respect for integrity of thinking demands. No 
public or private personage or social institution is above criti- 
cism either in war or in peace. To proclaim and practice the 
contrary doctrine is to elevate Force above Reason and Spirit 
and to try to halt the quest of man for finer and better things. 

The Will to Reinforce Our Insight Concerning the 
Unity of our Species 

People everywhere will support this minimum program of 
social guarantees because they are rooted in the very nature of 
the human organism. The structure of our bodies attests to their 
elemental validity. Man undoubtedly wants, and unquestionably 
should have, more than is here set forth ; but we may be certain 
that he wants at least this much whether he be young or old, 
white or colored, Christian or infidel. Because their bodies and 
minds are essentially like our own, the Germans, Italians, and 
Japanese esteem these things just as much as the English, Rus- 
sians, Chinese, and Americans do. 

If these considerations be true — and I see no effective way 
of denying them — then in all earnestness let me ask: Why not 
seek a negotiated peace now? Plainly the longer the war lasts, 
the harder it will be to reach this eight-fold goal. If one boasts 
grimly that one is opposed to a negotiated peace, then it is well 
to be reminded that the opposite of a peace by agreement is a 
dictated peace — a curious kind for alleged democrats to prefer. 
What does traditional law declare about contracts made under 
duress? A major component of the spirit of democracy is the 
principle of consent, not the principle of unilateral dominance 
and imposition. 

One need offer no apology for striving to bring this war to 
an immediate end or for seeking to build at once a "just and 
durable peace", not upon the dubious and repulsive premise of 
complete military triumph for one division of mankind and 
utter defeat for another, but upon the sounder basis of what both 


sides desire because they share in common the attributes of mor- 
tal man. Conflict invariably rests upon an exaggerated estima- 
tion of the significance of observable differences between people ; 
it is always reducible or even avoidable by a corrective empha- 
sis upon their likenesses. Supporters of the war method of re- 
solving social issues tacitly acknowledge this when they seek to 
unite the home population around such forward-looking schemes 
for satisfying essential needs as the Malvern Conference recom- 
mendations for England and the important new Bill of Rights 
proposed for the United States by the National Resources Plan- 
ning Board.* Fine as these two documents are, they both con- 
tain a pair of fatal defects — (1) each insists that the war must 
be fought until the United Nations are victorious, and (2) each 
parochially confines its presumptive benefits to its own nationals 
and fails to make them of world-wide application. 

Of these, the first flaw is the more serious. It is another 
tiresome case of "pie in the sky" as soon as the Big Bad Wolf is 
captured. There was a Little Bad Hohenzollern who stood in 
the way in 1918 ; next time our statesmen will have no trouble 
in pointing to some Monstrous Martian who must first be elim- 
inated before we can enter the Promised Land. Not ordinary 
dullness but an exceptionally high order of stupidity is required 
to believe that the way to make Americans happy is to make j 
Germans, Japanese, etc., miserable. Action based upon such a 
view merely results in more misery all around. 

I urge Messrs. Roosevelt and Churchill and their colleagues 
and successors to adopt this World Charter as a means of fusing 
their war and peace aims into a set of social aims for all man- 
kind. They or their spokesmen may respond that my eight points 
are "all right" (a euphenism for "harmless platitudes"), but 
that the other fellows are so degraded that they must first be 
pounded into submission before they will accept these purposes. 
That the so-called aggressor powers have been guilty of unpar- 
donable cruelties is plain, although it is well to remember that 
we too have become quite expert in the gentle art of mass mur- 
der. But let us not evade the basic point: is it really necessary 
to lie, hate, starve, and kill on a grand scale without first finding 

"This last is fully analyzed in a spirit of advocacy in the May 1942 issue of 
THE FRONTIEKS OP DEMOCRACY, a periodical published by the Pro- 
gressive Education Association, 


out if this program of "least common denominators" for civilized 
community life meets the wishes of the rival alliance as well as 
ourselves? Are we so sure that Hitler is opposed to vocational 
guidance? That Mussolini is against sanitation? Or Hirohito 
hostile to public schools? Or all of them combined antagonistic 
to the idea of a decent diet for everybody? Even in the improb- 
able event that these heads of states were negatively disposed 
toward these goals, is it not practically certain that their peoples 
as a whole favor them? If this be so, then what excuse have we 
for not making the physical, intellectual, and moral effort re- 
quired to achieve these elementary but grand objectives? 

The Attitudinal Basis and Structural Machinery for a 
World "State" 

A Joint Congressional World Organization Committee should 
be established quickly (with or without Executive support) to 
sponsor the broad principles of the program here presented and 
to arrange for their distribution via radio and otherwise to every 
corner of the earth. We have here a basis for initiating peace 
proposals which stresses such essentials as the human stomach 
and not such trivia as what piece of soil shall be administered by 
which racial group. How anything is managed is far more signi- 
ficant than who does it. 

As soon as public opinion is willing to think in these terms — 
and I have no doubt that it is far more ready to do so than some 
timid and unimaginative "opinion-makers" themselves believe — 
a World Constitutional Convention must be assembled as the 
necessary instrument for objectifying these ideals. This is a dar- 
ing proposal, to be sure; but let no one malign it as a crazy, 
"utopian", and impracticable one. After a prospective armistice, 
some sort of international conference is certain to be held. Obvi- 
ously physical difficulties do not stand in the way of converting 
this into a constitution-making body for our troubled planet ; the 
barriers and resistances are largely mental, and these we must 
labor unremittingly to overcome. If a World Government com- 
mitted to the attainment of the eight ends specified above is thus 
brought into being, no one need fear about the future of our 
species. Such a World Order will necessarily be "democratic" 
for the interrelated freedoms and liberties it embodies are au- 
thentic goods to all men everywhere. The chief business of this 


administrative structure will be the more or less simultaneous 
elevation of the standard of living of the entire human family, 
even if that means taxing privileged areas like the United States 
and Sweden in order to equalize opportunities for personality 
growth in less favored regions like Chile and Persia. 

Here then are understandable aims whieh cannot fail to pro- 
mote the unity of mankind. It is not necessary to fight a cruel 
war to get them. Such a benighted conviction is a vestige of the 
ancient tribal myth that human sacrifice alone secures divine 
grace. The war itself must stop — and stop soon — before these 
goals can be won. From the solid base thus gained by the estab- 
lishment of institutions yielding the precious products of authen- 
tic Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, we and our "enemies" can 
march ahead as one to heights unseen. 


In the few months that have passed., since this address was given and 
later issed in pamphlet form, publicists who wish the United Nations to 
continue the war until the Axis powers surrender unconditionally have been 
warning Americans of the grave dangers of any "negotiated peace". There 
is much talk of the "sophistry of saving civilization by compromise" by 
writers who have preached the virtues of compromise as a political tech- 
nique in staving off civil fueds. Evidently there is real fear that our 
countrymen might harken to the "still small voice of reason" in proposing 
or accepting an Armistice short of complete military triumph for either 
side. That such a victory would be an empty and meaningless event in 
any case, and particularly so if the death of ten million or more men was 
required to ensure "success", is dimly sensed by many who are not directly 
touched by the pacifist mode of thought. The uneasy conscience and per- 
sistent guilty feelings (such as were evident after the devastation of 
Cologne and similar man-made disasters) of those who unenthusiastically 
support the war effort is some small indicator that for cultivated minds 
even utter defeat of the enemy does not eVoke that exultation of spirit 
anticipated by others who delight in the prospect of compelling uncondi- 
tional surrender and enjoying the satisfactions of primitive vengeance. 

_ The chief criticism encountered by my proposal has centered upon the 
failure to bridge realistically the gap between faulty arguments for war 
and the humanistic ideals which animate the text. "We have been threat- 
ened— -nay, actually attacked — and if we fail to kill the foe, then we shall 
be killed. The basic conviction of normal persons that the life of a 
decent man is more valuable than that of a criminal cannot be overcome 
by any emphasis upon factors common to both honest citizens and outlaws." 
I do not pretend to have solved the profound ethical puzzles inherent in 
a world at conflict; but surely this need not be decisive against an armis- 
tice now. It is a fact that the Allies and the Nazis share in common the 
belief and the practice that murder, however this may be disguised by 
other names, is an admissible way of furthering one's values. They are 


even similar in such minor stupid brutalities as the reprisal shackling of 
prisoners in the name of the dignity of man! The Vital and neglected 
consideration is that these barbarities be ended — but they will not stop so 
long as we continue armed combat. 

Repugnant tho' it may be to our pride to attempt to come to some 
understanding with those we call "criminals" (our opponents undoubtedly 
call us the same or worse), a cool calculation indicates that we may 
eventually solicit or welcome a termination of hostilities on other grounds 
strong enough to overcome this resistance. I hope I shall not be called 
a defeatist for making these estimates, but it seems to me that the chances 
that the Axis will conquer the United States are no greater than 10 or 20 
in 100; the chances that we shall be able to garrison both Germany and 
Japan do not appear higher than 50 or 60 in 100; whereas, the chances of 
a prolonged attritional stalemate with both sides maintaining their home- 
lands relatively intact and yet bleeding to death in a struggle along the 
outposts of their respective "spheres of influence" ought to be reckoned 
as about 80 or 90 in 100. 

These possibilities may be wrongly appraised, and others may justly 
emphasize different components in the world configuration of forces. None- 
theless, I am impressed by what my atlas tells me: As of today (November, 
1942) the Axis countries control a total population of about 800,000,000 
out of a world total of approximately 2,200,000,000. About 100,000,000 
(wise minority!) remain technically neutral. India contains 400,000,000 
souls, but the disturbed political conditions there compel one to assign it 
largely to the "neutral" group. This leaves no more than 900,000,000 in 
our coalition, distributed as follows: United States (plus most of Latin 
America), 250,000,000; British Commonwealth (Great Britain plus do- 
minions and colonies, but minus most of India), 200,000,000; Unoccupied 
China, 300,000,000 (?), and Unoccupied Russia, 150,000,000 (?). Statis- 
tically, one-third of mankind is arrayed against another third, with the 
remaining third on the sidelines or imperfectly coordinated with either 
combatant group for purposes of offense or defense. Where the struggle is 
on such a grand scale and, to a layman at least, so evenly balanced, it is 
difficult to see how, barring the intervention of some deus ex machina, 
either side can "win", no matter how much each may be willing to "pay" 
for such a result. Certainly geographical, industrial, technological, and 
strategical factors are a barrier to any hope of a speedy collapse of one 
or the other adversary. 

If the physical components seem fairly evenly poised, the complex of 
factors termed morale likewise seems, to play no favorites. Americans at 
present cannot take refuge in the comforting thought that there fighting 
spirit is markedly superior to the enemy's. In any country at any time 
there is a wide range of martial morale, but a crude average of the high 
and low areas over a period of years may be struck by a critical observer. 
Using this impressionistic method and employing Italy (sans malice!) as 
a base with a score of 100, I should judge Japanese morale to be about 
200, the highest of all major belligerents. Others fall somewhere between 
these extremes. British and American morale seem to be much the same 
(say 140) with perhaps a shade in favor of the British, largely because 
of their more, homogeneous population. German and Russian morale like- 
wise appear to be identical (say 160) and both of them are probably some- 
what above the English-speaking group chiefly because of the intensity 
of their ideological drives. I realize that national morale is as much a 
matter of quality, texture, and fibre as it is a commensurable quantity 
along some linear scale; and it certainly would be scandalous to consider 
it significant solely in connection with eagerness for battle. Even if simple 
adding and averaging of these intangibles provide but little clue to the 
shifting psychological resources of the combatants, it does not seem wise 
to disregard them; and when we do so, the picture of essential equivalence 


I pi 


remains unchanged. Plainly no nation monopolizes the will to sacrifice 
"blood, sweat, toil, and tears" in behalf of either real or imaginary values. 

One can love his country, its institutions, and its people and still diagnose 
and prognose the present world situation as akin to an irresistible force 
vs. an immovable obstacle. When Thucydides passed a similar verdict 
upon the Peloponnesian War, he was acting in this spirit. Authentic 
patriotism does not require one to support foreign policies which lead 
nowhere and promise nothing more than the prospect of perpetual warfare. 
This war may conceivably last a decade or even a generation, and end 
in mutual exhaustion and pure loss without a decision being reached or 
a single major social issue being settled thereby. Unless my political 
arithmetic as calculated above is wholly in error, this grim probability 
seems much greater than the optimistic expectations that Tokyo and Berlin 
will be taken by assault in 1943. 

I hope the prophets of a short war are right — but one way to make it 
still shorter is to end it now. Our government has not even tried to discover 
the terms on which its enemies might consent to a truce, and it has held forth 
none of its own save the threat of utter annihilation. Why couldn't we ask 
the Pope, the King of Sweden, or some similar figure to act as intermediary? 
Or are we strong for arbitration, conciliation, etc., in domestic matters 
and against them in more weighty international affairs? Of course, if 
"our side is right" as Professor Perry and others maintain, then . the 
other fellow is utterly wrong (and evil, too) ; but a little sense of humor 
and experience with other forms of dispute should lead one to suspect 
that in truth both coalitions are partly right and also partly wrong. Wisdom 
and kindness together should prompt us, to yield on some points in order 
to gain on others, rather than insisting on 100% for ourselves and zero 
for the opponent. As Mary Follett observed during the last war, some 
integration of rival purposes may then be achieved. 

Have we the wit and the courage to try this method? 



RESOLUTION on behalf of the immediate setting up of 
a Congressional Peace Aims Commission adopted at a public 
meeting* of 500 persons held in New York City. 

Whereas we American citizens assembled in the Hotel Capitol, 
May 5th, 1942, recognize that the avowed purpose of our country 
in fighting this war is not only to preserve democracy and liberty 
at home but to extend them to all lands, and 

Whereas we, on the other hand, believe that the continuance of 
the present conflict not only jeopardizes democracy and liberty 
here but renders ever more unlikely their realization abroad, 
and constitutes the ultimate threat to a durable peace and the 
building of an orderly post-war world, and 

Whereas we believe that if the people of the Axis countries are 
to be successfully divorced from the mad dream of conquest, the 
United States must offer them some better hope of freedom and 
economic security than their present rulers, and 

Whereas we believe that once again the peace will be lost if men 
of good will everywhere do not set about winning the peace while 
the war is yet in progress, 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we urge upon our rep- 
resentatives in Washington the immediate setting up of a CON- 
formulation of and publicizing to all the nations, Allied, neutral, 
and belligerent alike, the peace aims upon which our country 
would be willing to conclude the present intolerable conflict, such 
commission to consult experts, hold public hearings, and arrive 
at public findings to the end of bringing the war to an early and 
a satisfactory conclusion. 

*The meeting was arranged by the Peace House with the assistance of the War 
Resisters League.